DECO informs…“My first washing machine lasted 20 years, while my new one broke after five and this isn’t a one-off case. What are consumer watchdogs doing about this?”

Although there are clear cases that prove that these machines do not last as long as they did during our grandparents’ time, it is still unclear why. The truth is that many people accuse manufacturers of creating machines designed to rapidly become obsolete and force clients to buy new ones.
In some cases, it may just be due to the current tendency to cut costs. In others, the manufacturers believe that consumers would rather buy something new as opposed to having the product fixed.
For now, we demand European legislation that will reinforce consumers’ protection. It is essential that consumers are informed of the products’ average lifespan, as well as other relevant details.
Consumers demand clear indications about how the products can be fixed and how long it takes to receive replacement parts and accessories, as well as info on their environmental impact.
Consumers also consider it crucial that products’ guarantees be extended to cover their predicted lifespan. In France, for example, there are already proposed laws to penalise foul play, including two-year prison sentences and €300,000 fines.
In this column, Portuguese consumer watchdog DECO informs readers of various interesting issues and laws affecting consumer decisions. 289 863 103 | [email protected]